Monday, October 29, 2012

Linky Love

Places to visit this week . . .

During October I've been reading through  "Life In Grace" blog's "31 Days of Hospitality" (head here to read Day 1). I really enjoyed the first few days when she was talking about what hospitality really is--it's not the perfectly decorated home that often immediately pops to my mind.  It is reaching out to people in whatever form that takes on.  It is making time for others.  I don't think this has been something that has come naturally to me--I've had to work and work at it! Hospitality is ministering to others . . . maybe it is a meal, or a card in the mail, or a little "thinking of you gift," but there is an availability to it, a willingness to put aside your own "to-do's" and connect with somebody else. 

Along a similar vein, I really like this short post "The Myth of the Next House."  It was just a good reminder for me to stop making excuses (particularly along the lines of hospitality!). ;o)

I'm reading this book (and it is kicking me in the rear!). I give it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!  It is full of scripture and and the author writes in a bravely honest manner--perhaps a must read for all women?

Something fun--free little calendars (I like them for my menu planning).  Head here for the 2012 ones, and here for the 2013.

I sat under this sermon Sunday (have patience, it seems to be really slow at pulling up!) , a survey of Habakkuk (that link should take you directly to it, if not go here and click on the sermon from Oct. 28th.).  If you have the time this week (particularly before the election I think) have a listen.  It's a good one!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 21-27

Beginning the process of packing up (two vans!) to head back to Arapahoe.  Josh and I--we've got a pretty good system at this point, honed through many a trip.  As soon as I hit the interstate all three boys were out for the count, which makes for a very peaceful drive . . . and boy would I have liked to join them . . . ;o)
After being away from home for 10 days and living up all the pretty fall colors back in Lincoln it was strange to come back and discover most of the trees around our house devoid of leaves . . . everything is quite brown and dead looking, except my red mum (the other didn't fare so well).  I keep covering it on the chilly nights hoping to keep it going as long as I can.
On the hydrangea front, the four cuttings I began in late summer are doing well.  Josh put a little shelf above the sink for them and so far they seem to be getting just enough of the afternoon sun to keep growing.  We'll see how they do this winter.
No comment . . . sometimes a picture really is worth a thousand words. ;o)
The "Thomas jammies" have completed the boy cycle, first Jackson, then Emmett, and now Owen.  Owen insists upon buttoning them all by himself, even though it takes about 10 minutes and rarely does he line them up right.
One of the wonderful things about declaring Friday night "spaghetti night" (years and years ago . . .) is that the girls saw me prepare spaghetti (over and over and over again). For a good year and a half, maybe two years now they have taken over the preparation of that meal.  This may come as a surprise, but I am more than willing to have a meal off. ;o) 
Strange conversations you don't foresee yourself having--
Josh calls from the grocery store downtown "Can you check if we have any tater tots out in the deep freeze?"
I head out to the garage, and notice with disgust a rodent on my deep freeze, "The kids left that dead vole on top!"  I gingerly lift the lid, the vole stays put, and I peek inside, seeing that yes we have tater tots, and then let the lid slam shut.  The vole lifts its head. "Oh!" I exclaim, "He's still alive!"
Our cat does a good job catching small animals.  Marissa was upset about this little vole (most likely the one that was tunneling under my pumpkin plants all summer long).  She noticed it wasn't dead yet, and under the inspiration of all those Brian Jacques "Redwall" books decided she would save its life, taking him away from the cat and setting up an infirmary on the deep freeze.  Josh has since taken care of the situation . . . *ahem*  (In case you're wondering, voles have shorter tales and are a bit bigger than mice).

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Wedding Round-Up

I've already shared my pictures from Louie and Becky's wedding on facebook (I had forgotten how instantly gratifying that is!!). ;o)  But I wanted to put a few of my favorites on my blog.
The wedding was at Doane College in Crete, and it is no secret they have a beautiful campus there. Saturday proved to be a glorious fall day, perfect for outdoor pictures.  I truly can't wait to see what their photographer captured!
Becky, the beaming bride!
My siblings and I . . . I'm so happy Josh got this shot! I can't remember the last time we managed a picture of just the four of us (maybe it was my wedding??).  And off in the left hand corner is my dad.
Becky's stunning bouquet--so many wonderful colors and textures there!
A sweet picture of my mom with Louie in the background.
This last week, the wedding . . . it has left me with such a full heart.  I had a wonderful time back in Lincoln.  We were so busy, but I was blessed with lots of one-on-one visits with so many of my favorite people and I love that.  And then to see my baby brother get married!  You have to know he was my "first baby."  I was 5.5 years old when he was born.  I remember when my dad woke me up to tell me I had a brother.  I was soooo happy--if he had been a girl they were planning on naming him Erin.  I thought that a hideous name (at the time). ;o)  I remember sneaking out with my dad to bring him home from the hospital.  I adored him.  I used to bring him to school on his birthday for show-and-tell.  I potty-trained him.  I taught him to spell long words--like "alligator"--so he could impress others.  It pleases me to no end that tonight he is tucked into the farmhouse he spent years remodeling with his new bride.  God is so good.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 14-20

Why yes, it is another tree picture (to offset the number of pumpkin pictures).  Fall only comes but once a year you know. ;o)
I spent the day at my parents' home.  While my dad took the kids fishing and did who knows what else keeping them busy all day my mom and I got to work measuring, figuring, cutting, sewing, realizing we didn't have enough trim, sewing, realizing we mis-measured . . . all in hopes of completing seven flower girl skirts.  We came up woefully shy that day, but at least got a good start.  As a reward my mom let me lay out the quilt she is making for me.  I'm looking forward to seeing it all sewed up!!
I met my sweet friend Anna and her bunch at Pioneers Park for a fall walk in the nature area.  Funny thing #1, while standing there with our combined nine children we were mistaken for a field trip group and asked if we were waiting for a guide.  Funny thing #2, our walk quickly morphed into the next episode of Wonder Pets "There's a baby snapping turtle!! He is dehydrated! We must help him!" (I'm loosely singing the theme song in my head, you too?) ;o)  Long-story-short we found a nearly dried up snapping turtle out on the prairie, a ways away from water.  He was barely moving, but Anna had some bottled water so we made him a little pool in the sippy cup holder of her stroller.  He revived!  A little too much actually--by the time we got him back to the nature center we were having quite the time keeping him contained.  Hopefully, he is now swimming the creek happily. ;o)
We spent the morning at my sister's checking out her amazing new home.  They are up to their eyeballs in remodeling projects but it is going to be such a fantastic place for their family when they are all done. 
I finished up the two skirts for my girls.  My mom later said she should have given me more . . . somehow we didn't divide that up too evenly as I left her with the other five . . . oops. ;o)
Birthday day!! We kicked off the morning with monkey bread and a relaxing (?) jaunt in the MRI tube for me (nothing new to report that I know of, just some brain tumor follow-up that needed to happen).  We took the kids to the Children's Museum and when we got back to Josh's parents' home his mom had chili and a lovely cupcake tower waiting for a little birthday lunch.  I was suffering some mommy guilt that I didn't have time to make Marissa a birthday cake this year, but Grandma saved the day. ;o)  That evening we enjoyed hanging out at the rehearsal/dinner with all my family.
Aaaaaand WEDDING DAY!!
Sadly, I didn't manage to get a single one of my brother and his new wife together when all the pictures were happening outside but here's Aunt Becky and all the flower girls.
(more pictures to follow . . . maybe tomorrow . . . or sometime this week . . .)

Friday, October 19, 2012

Happy 11th Marissa Grace!

Today you are eleven.
I think it might have been yesterday, or just last week that it was my 22nd birthday and the best present ever was placed in my arms.  It surely wasn't eleven years ago.  But I show your daddy the pictures I snapped, and we're shocked to see this pretty young lady grinning back.  Where did the little girl with the round cheeks and impish grin go?  And Daddy whispers kind of fearfully, "She's beautiful . . . we won't get her contacts until she is really old."
But it is your heart where the true beauty lies, my giving, helping, and selfless girl.  You are often a lesson to me in how I should be.  I've watched you grow and change and blossom so much this year.  You're taller, your feet are bigger, your work ethic has matured.  I see the glimpses of what the grown-up you could be and it makes my heart all warm and happy.  Oh girlie, I hope your heart stays true.  I pray that Jesus keeps being the focus.  I pray you go forward with discernment and wisdom.  I pray you do the hard things.  And I hope you know that as we wade through the "big girl stuff" that I'm sure is just around the bend that I love you, SO MUCH.  God made a very special you.  Never doubt the plans He has for you and never sell out for something cheaper.
Happy birthday Rissy-girl!  Raising you has been a joyful gift. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

October 7-13

This was the freeze that took out everything else.  The flowers were so pretty that morning encased in frost, but by afternoon they were officially brown and dead.
The sidewalk chalk spent most of the summer neglected, but apparently Emmett got inspired this afternoon to draw a "super-tall" striped house.
There are some Cardinals fans in my household, and there has been some excitement since they made it to the play-offs.  I'll have you know Owen totally dressed himself this day. ;o)
A lovely autumn sky.
A friend on facebook mentioned making pumpkin cinnamon rolls, and after mulling the idea around I decided pumpkin plus cinnamon roll must equal a good thing.  Oh, it did . . .
Spent the day finishing my packing, spent the afternoon driving the kids and I to Lincoln for our very own "fall break."  Took a picture of my mother-in-law's pumpkin pile on the back of her truck.
Josh is kind of despondent that between his mom and I there isn't a decent jack o' lantern making pumpkin to be found . . . "All that pumpkin growing and neither of you could go a normal pumpkin?"  'Tis true. ;o)
Lovely autumn rain overnight making all the colors just "pop" the next morning.
Have I mentioned I love October?? ;o)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

September 30-October 6

After throwing around a few ideas Josh and I determined that the kids could use some more Bible instruction, and so Josh pulled out his lessons from back in his Awana teaching days.  The kids and I were quite impressed to learn we would be having a multi-media presentation. ;o)  Thus began our Bible walk-through, it's more review for the girls, but needed for the boys (and they LOVE having Daddy teach them!).
Isabella decided to wrap her hair up in a comb . . .
She has had brighter ideas. ;o)
Our first frost--it didn't take out everything, but my pumpkin vines were done for.
My little animal-lover enjoying some hedgehog time. (Not sure if "enjoy would be the word the hedgehog would use though . . .)
Reader Rissy sprawled out on the floor because the brothers had confiscated all living room furniture for fort-building.
Jackson "watching" (all he has is the little ESPN play-by-play to follow) the Cardinals/Braves games . . . uh-oh, Braves got a hit, hence the angst.
A pile of pumpkins in the living room because we were going to get a hard freeze and I am determined to prolong their lives as long as possible.